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Gloves are off
Yogi Adityanath's candidature for UP CM signals a more aggressive phase of Hindutva politics
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The RSS backed BJP government has done one great service to the country by anointing Yogi Adityanath as chief minister of India's largest state, Uttar Pradesh. Three years after Narendra Modi took over as prime minister chanting slogans of 'sabka saath, sabka vikas', the pretence of inclusive growth and development has finally been shed. At least, those fooled by the talk about development and fighting corruption can open their eyes, though only if they wish to. The gloves are off, baring the aggressive politics of exclusion, as development takes a back seat and RSS gets into full steering control. No mistakes should be made about the plank on which BJP fought the elections in Uttar Pradesh. The development agenda was already subdued by the Ram temple, Love Jehad and Kabristan politics. The RSS experiment of gaining and retaining power by alternating the policy of aggression and exclusion with moderation and accommodation has reaped it rich harvest in terms of electoral vote banks. It has helped the BJP move in circles from phases of enlargement of their base to consolidation with phenomenal success. This experiment began in the 80s, with aggressive campaigns to cash in on disgruntled upper caste and middle class Hindus, resulting in Babri demolition, Mumbai riots and Gujarat genocide that helped consolidate its support base. With the 2014 elections, the BJP stepped into the phase of liberal values, improving upon the earlier experiment under Atal Behari Vajpayee, through a well oiled propaganda machinery and unquestioned support of the media. The last three years of power under Modi have been a mixed bag of glib talking about corruption, development and silence over hyped up communal jargon displayed with ample doses of street hooliganism of the saffron brigade's lumpen elements. Finally convinced of stability, the BJP has cast off its mukhota of moderation and come out with its real agenda as is evident from the choice of Yogi Adityanath as chief minister.

Yogi Adityanath's choice for the chief ministerial post does not stem from his popularity among masses in Uttar Pradesh, as is wrongly being pedalled by the BJP but is a conscious effort to put on pedestal a man known for his rabid communalism and showcase him as a symbol of BJP's hidden agenda towards its ambition of turning this into a Hindutva country where everybody other than upper caste Hindu is a second class citizen. The liberals mesmerised by the false promises of 'acche din' and 'inclusive development' would once again be falling into the trap if they continue to believe that popularity of Yogi Adityanath is the reason for his anointment and this imagined popularity wave is aimed at ushering in an era of development. Let them be reminded that even people like Hafeez Saeed enjoy sufficient popularity amongst masses in certain pockets of Pakistan. Yogi Adityanath, accused of hate speeches and infamous for his open call to butcher Muslims and rape Muslim women, like Hafeez Saeed represents a perverse and regressive communal, parochial and patriarchal mindset that should find no place in a civilized world. There is no telling what extent of damage to India's secular fabric and its liberal values his ascent to power in Uttar Pradesh can do. The key to India's future lies ultimately not in the hands of the RSS with its evil machinations of undermining India's constitution and creation of a new India that is communal and xenophobic but in the hands of its public, much of which despite the increasing mesmerisation with Hindutva ideology, is still pretty much liberal. The acid test of its ability to see through the guise will be in 2019, when general elections are due. Or will vast sections of liberal thinking, peace loving citizens still continue to be hallucinated by the mask of development even as it has been taken off. The writing on the wall is now pretty much clear: the BJP, having miserably failed to deliver on its promises of economic growth, development and fighting corruption, will now take a piggy back ride to absolute power on the agenda of hate soaked Hindutva. The choice is before the public: to see or not to see; to reason or to turn blind.

News Updated at : Sunday, March 19, 2017
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